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Downtown transit, Detroit

Practical Info about Detroit

Getting around the city

There is not much in the way of public transport in Detroit, and the Motor City is still geared resolutely towards the car. Driving is not too challenging and parking is relatively easy to find, but rush hours should be avoided. To hire a car drivers must be 21 years old and have a valid driver's license; sometimes an International Driving Permit is also required. However, should one choose to rely on public transport, the People Mover is an elevated monorail that provides a quick and easy way to get around most of the downtown area, while DOT buses operate a meagre inner-city service and the SMART buses serve the suburbs, but service is sparse on weekends. Taxis are a convenient form of transport and can easily be found or ordered by phone.


GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).


120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are mainly the type with two flat pins, though three-pin plugs are also widely used. European appliances without dual-voltage capabilities will require an adapter.


The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.


The international country dialling code for the United States is +1. Mobile networks cover most of the country, including all urban areas, however unless you have a tri-band phone it is likely your cellular phone from home will not work in the United States. Internet cafes are prevalent in most towns and cities.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 911

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Martin Luther King Day 20 Jan 19 Jan
Presidents Day 17 Feb 16 Feb
Memorial Day 26 May 25 May
Independence Day 4 Jul 4 Jul
Labour Day 1 Sep 7 Sep
Columbus Day 13 Oct 12 Oct
Veterans Day 11 Nov 11 Nov
Thanksgiving Day 27 Nov 26 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec



Detroit has a temperate climate with warm, humid summers and very cold winters. Mid-summer temperatures can rise as high as 90°F (32°C), while in the coldest month, January, the mercury usually stays well below freezing point. Rainfall is spread fairly evenly over the year with a few inches being recorded each month. Snow usually falls between November and April.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

Getting to the city

SMART public buses connect to central Detroit from the lower level near the Ground Transportation offices at the North Terminal; the fare for a regular route trip is $2. Taxis and sedan services are also available; a 4-passenger sedan to downtown Detroit costs $56. There are car hire companies represented at the airport. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes to the city centre by car/taxi and about 45 minutes by bus.

Car rental

Car hire companies represented at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National.

Airport taxi's

Metro Airport Taxis are available from the airport and cost about $41 to the city centre, which should take approximately 20-30 minutes.

Transfer between terminals

White 'Terminal-to-Terminal' vans provide a free shuttle service between the three terminals.


The main concentration of restaurants, bars, cafes, and fast food outlets are in the McNamara Terminal, although the other two terminals also have bars and eateries. There are numerous shops located throughout the airport, including duty-free. ATMs, wireless Internet and bureaux de change are available in all terminals. The two on-site hotels offer conference and business facilities. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should inform their airline in advance.


There is plenty of parking at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, starting at $3 per half hour. Daily rates are available for $8 in the Green Lot, the cheapest long-term option. Red vans provide a free shuttle service from the parking lots to the terminal buildings.


Advanced Wireless Group provides free wifi throughout the airport.